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I e in a sabachthani 




ll'lllil MliliH'lllllillli 


Published by The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, New York, 1966 All Rights Reserved 

Library of Congress Card Catalogue Number: 66-21912 Printed in The Netherlands 















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Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum Library and Archives 

THE STATIONS OF THE CROSS with its established sequence 
of fourteen works, supplemented by an additional painting, is the 
frame of reference for this exhibition. Barnett Newman's black or 
white paintings on raw canvas constitute an important segment in 
the artist's total work. They are here presented as the first one man 
show of this distinguished painter held in an American museum. 
The exhibition and catalogue have been prepared by Lawrence 
Alloway, Curator of the Guggenheim Museum. 

Thomas M. Messer, Director 


Lema Sabachthani — why? Why did you forsake me? Why forsake me? To 
what purpose? Why? 

This is the Passion. This outcry of Jesus. Not the terrible walk up the Via Dolorosa, 
but the question that has no answer. 

This overwhelming question that does not complain, makes today's talk of 
alienation, as if alienation were a modern invention, an embarrassment. This question 
that has no answer has been with us so long — since Jesus — since Abraham — since Adam 
— the original question. 

Lema? To what purpose — is the unanswerable question of human suffering. 
Can the Passion be expressed by a series of anecdotes, by fourteen sentimental 
illustrations? Do not the Stations tell of one event? 

The first pilgrims walked the Via Dolorosa to identify themselves with the 
original moment, not to reduce it to a pious legend; nor even to worship the story of 
one man and his agony, but to stand witness to the story of each man's agony; the agony 
that is single, constant, unrelenting, willed — world without end. 
"The ones who are born are to die 
Against thy will art thou formed 
Against thy will art thou born 
Against thy will dost thou live 
Against thy will die." 
Jesus surely heard these words from the "Pirke Abot", "The Wisdom of the 

No one gets anybody's permission to be born. No one asks to live. Who can 
say he has more permission than anybody else? 

Barnett Newman 



I am indebted to Annalee Newman for allowing use to be made of her bibliography of writings 
by and about Barnett Newman. Diane Waldman not only supplemented this list but also re- 
searched the icono graphical background of the Stations of the Cross. My essay depends heavily 
on her work. Cleve Gray generously provided information about the first public showing of one 
of the Stations in an exhibition that he arranged. Mary Grigoriadis worked with me on every 
phase of the exhibition, Jane Umanoff arranged the transportation of the paintings, and Linda 
Konheim edited the catalogue, to all ofivhom I am very grateful. 




Newman did not begin these paintings with the idea of The Stations in mind. The first 
two paintings were done early in 1958 in Brooklyn Heights, where he lived from 1956 to 1958. 
There was some question in his mind of titling them so that they might constitute a pair, such 
as Adam and Eve, but he decided against this. Then, as he has said, "I knew I would do more" 
and in 1960 he painted two, the same size, also in pure black on raw canvas, with comparable 
phasing of the vertical bands. All four have a solid black left edge and a modulated band, rather 
more than two-thirds across the canvas, to the right. In the first, plumes of dry brush marks 
expand around a narrow band; in the second a narrow band is outlined in black and set off- 
center in a wider grey band; in the third a narrow solid and a narrow plumed band adjoin; and 
in the fourth a narrow band, freely contoured, is set in a flowing black band. It was after the 
fourth that he realized the number and meaning of the work on which he was engaged. In 
December 1961 he exhibited what is still the first painting of the Stations as a single work under 
the title of Station. The work was subsequently reproduced as The Series, 1 (1), but there 
can be no doubt that the Stations theme was now a definite project in Newman's mind. 

The discovery of a subject that proposed fixed limits did not mean that Newman 
could now work easily by filling in a given schema. In 1962 he produced two more paintings, 
the Fifth and Sixth, in 1964 three paintings, in 1965 three, and the two final paintings were begun 
in 1965 and finished early in 1966. Thus Newman's Stations were arrived at through a process of 
self-recognition. This fact alone is sufficient to separate them from commissioned works on the 


subject in which the number of Stations and the incidents appropriate to each Station are 
clearly known in advance. Newman worked, first, without pre-knowledge of group or cycle; 
then, as a result of developing possibilities within the work itself, he accepted a definition that 
partially determined the future course of the series. It became a project, a speculative extension 
into the future, demanding paintings for its realization. This method of learning from the 
initial staged work is parallel to the kind of responsiveness that Jackson Pollock revealed in 
single paintings. He would make a mark and then develop or oppose it by other marks until 
he reached a point at which he had exhausted the work's cues to him to act further. Newman 
has demonstrated the possibility of such awareness operating not in terms of visual judgment 
and touch within one painting, but as a source of structure for a series. A comparable extension 
of improvisation beyond the formal limits of the single work occurred in Newman's litho- 
graphs 18 Cantos which "really started as three, grew to seven, then eleven, then fourteen, and 
finished as eighteen" (2). 

The reproduction of a series by Newman is an unexpected development in his work. 
Lnlike other artists of his generation, given to numbering their paintings and to production 
in runs, he has consistently defined his work by separate titles, a verbal statement of the auton- 
omy of each work. Newman has observed: "I think it would be very well if we could title 
pictures by identifying the subject matter so that the audience could be helped. I think that the 
question of titles is purely a social phenomenon. The story is more or less the same when you 
can identify them" (3). Without relegating any of the painting's function to language he indi- 
cates a relation of usefulness between verbal and visual elements. 

The fact that Newman has now painted a series does not, in fact, dissolve the com- 
pactness and solidity on which his earlier work seems predicated. His art has never been the 
continuous record of the artist's life, in which each work records a unique phase of an artist's 
sensibility. Under the terms of serial painting the continuity of sequels tends to override 
the determinate form of each single work. One problem of working in serial form is knowing 
when to stop. The inventiveness, energy, and, perhaps, patience of the artist become the decisive 
factors. Motherwell's Elegies for the Spanish Republic, for example, are open-ended; they 
constitute a series that does not seem to be bound by any known limits. The proliferation of 
the series involves us in the personality of the artist. Newman, on the other hand, in The Stations 
of the Cross is working with a subject which is personal but regulated by number. Although one 
cannot link his individual works with particular Stations of the Via Dolorosa, the number 
fourteen is both an absolute limit and a symbol; more or less than this number would make 
it impossible to recognize any connections with the declared iconography. Thus Newman's 
series embodies an order inseparable from the meaning of the work. 

The subject of the Stations of the Cross is a late development in Christian iconography. 
It was not until the seventeenth century that it developed in its modern form, as an expansion 
of a briefer early theme. From the fifteenth century there are numerous representations of the 
\^ay of the Cross, in the form of Seven Falls (a holy number extrapolated from the fullest 
account of the events in St. Luke). These were: Christ carrying the Cross, The First Fall, Christ 
meets Mary, the Second Fall, Veronica hands Him the face-cloth, The Third Fall, Entombment. 
In this form Christ, who carries the Cross alone in St. John, is aided by Simon and accompanied 
by a procession, including the grieving women (from St. Luke). This theme, with accompanying 
devotional exercises, spread in Germany, but not elsewhere, in the sixteenth century. Codified 
in devotional manuals it was doubled in length in the seventeenth century. Pope Innocent XI 


granted the Franciscans the right to erect Stations in their churches in 1686, and in 1731 
Clement XII fixed the number at fourteen. The customary sequence of the Stations is now : Christ 
condemned to death, Christ carrying the Cross, the First Fall, Christ meets Mary, Simon helps 
to carry the Cross, Veronica hands Him the face-cloth, the Second Fall, He comforts the women, 
the Third Fall, He is stripped of His garments, the Crucifixion, the death of Christ, the Depo- 
sition, the Entombment. 

It may be objected that paintings in which one cannot recognize, for example, Christ 
condemned to death or Christ carrying the Cross are not Stations of the Cross at all. How- 
ever, apart from the number symbolism there are other grounds for supporting Newman's 
title. As Newman said, "the artist's intention is what gives a specific thing form" (4). It is also 
possible to parallel the paintings with Christ's journey on the basis of an analogy between the 
events of the subject matter and the event of painting the series. The order of the paintings is 
the chronological order of their execution. Thus the subject matter is not only a source to 
Newman but, in addition, a parallel with aspects of his own life, so that the original event and 
the paintings are related like type and antetype in the Testaments. This is an expansion (though 
on a more ambitious scale than anything earlier) of an idea central to Newman's thought. He 
has always insisted on the non-functional origins of speech and, hence, of art. "The God Image, 
not pottery, was the first manual act." "What is the explanation of the seemingly insane drive of 
man to be painter and poet if it is not an act of defiance against man's fall and an assertion that 
he return to the Adam of the Garden of Eden?" (5). The mythic has always been natural to 
Newman, not only as the subject matter of paintings but assimilated as analogy, as metaphor, 
in the creative act itself. 

Although obviously Newman's Stations are a radical departure from existing Stations 
by other artists, there is a fundamental connection between them and traditional iconography. 
Pilgrims tracing the presumed Via Sacra at the original site, the devout who visited chapels 
spaced as at Jerusalem (for example the early fifteenth century series of chapels at the Domini- 
can friary, Cordova) or who followed the sequential displays in Franciscan churches, were all 
engaged in a participative experience. Even the Stations in a church constituted an analogic 
pilgrimage. The worshipper reduced the historical distance between himself and Christ, or to 
put it another way, Christ's suffering is eternal. As the Stations are outside the Liturgy they 
were free to be experienced in terms of spectator participation (as in the dramatic and pathetic 
paintings of Domenico Tiepolo painted for Sta. Paolo, Venice in 1748^49.) On the Via Sacra 
itself, in spatial simulations of Jerusalem, or in condensed sequence, the succession of Stations 
encouraged identification and parallelism with Christ. The spectator's time and Christ's time 
coincided. In Newman's Stations what had been the experience of the spectator has become the 
experience of the artist. Thus the lack of a full panoply of iconographic cues should not allow 
us to think that Newman's paintings are any fourteen. 

Newman has emphasized that he regards the Stations as phases of a continuous agony 
and not as a series of separate episodes, in which he is basically at one with traditional icono- 
graphy (although he did not research it beforehand). One consequence of this view is that it would 
be a serious misreading of the work to consider it in formal terms as a theme and variations. 
Theme-and-variation readings are applicable neither to the subject matter nor to the restriction 
of means to black or white paint on raw canvas, because such a form assumes a first statement 
(giving the theme) accompanied by modifications. In fact, there is no such key to the Stations 
of the Cross, which have to be experienced as a unit of fourteen continuous parts. 


Newman has proposed a modification of traditional iconography heyond that of his 
reductive imagery (6). He has added the last words of Christ on the Cross, his last words as a 
man. to the Stations : Lama Sabachtani (to use the King James version, though Newman pre- 
fers James Moffatt's version, Lema Sabachthani) (7). To add "My God, my God, why hast thou 
forsaken me" (or, as Moffatt has it, "My God, my God, why forsake me") is to emphasize the 
unity of the Passion and, as it were, to replace duration by spreading the climax of the Passion 
over its earlier phases. Indeed so strong is Newman's sense of the unity of the fourteen paint- 
ings that he regards the group as a cry. Christ's question is, as it were, the irreducible human 
content of the Passion, the human cry which has been muffled by official forms of later Church 
art. In the four years' gap between the Fourth and Fifth Stations there is a picture which must be 
linked with this concept of the series as a cry. This is a big painting Shining Forth (To George), 
which is painted in black on raw canvas. A slim band on the left, a wide one in the center, 
and two frayed tracks of black parted to define a narrow open band on the right, echo elements 
from the Stations. The painting, as the title declares, is commemorative of the artist's brother 
who died in February 1961. Thus, a personal experience of death occurred soon after Newman 
had decided what his theme was to be, a confirmation of the universality of Christ's death. 

In 1948. an early date for such a statement, Newman published a text on the sublime, 
a key document for his own intentions and of central relevance to post-war New York painting. 
He identified his own work with the sublime which, as an esthetic concept, condenses "man's 
natural desire for the exalted" (8). Rudolf Otto, in The Idea of the Holy, proposes the sublime 
as "the most effective means of representing the numinous" (9). Influenced by sublime esthe- 
tics, as well as by religious tradition, he instances "magnitude", "darkness", "silence", and 
"emptiness" as sublime. These terms apply, with some precision, to aspects of Newman's 
work, whereas traditional formal analysis (dealing in the balancing of discrete and contrasted 
units) does not. In the past this iconographic theme of the Stations has not been the occasion 
of the works that are usually considered to be the high points of Christian art. Newman's series 
is not being implicitly backed by a tradition of art and iconography which will feed his own 
paintings. On the contrary, though the Stations have been important devotionally, the pro- 
cessional requirement usually consigned them to the aisles or columns of churches ; serviceable 
function rather than star position (like an altarpiece) was the point. Though Newman is con- 
cerned with the Passion of Christ he has taken it in one of its least familiar and least historically 
prestigious forms. 

The celebration of primitive art in the earlier twentieth century assumed a break 
between modern art and Christian-Hebraic-Classical culture. The affinity of the modern artist 
and primitive art was used to criticize the complexities and ambivalence of our own tradition 
in comparison to the primitivist's view of primitive art and culture. Common to Newman and 
to Northwest Indian or Pre-Columbian artists, about whom he has written, is a concern with 
the mythic and with cosmogonies. Thus his appreciation of primitive art is part of the same 
impulse that led him to use Hebraic and Classical titles for his paintings and, now, a Christian 
theme. Newman can use the Stations of the Cross as a metaphysical occasion, without sacri- 
ficing the intimacy and elaboration of our own tradition or the vividness and impact of other 
tribes' beliefs. In fact, Newman's viewpoint is sufficiently wide, his independence sufficiently 
rigorous, for him to consider transformations of Renaissance art as well as parallelisms with 
primitive art. In fact, the form that his continuities take are often more radical than slogans 
of revolution and change. 


Newman, reflecting on the human figure as a subject, observed: "In the art of the 
Western world, it has always stayed an object, a grand heroic one, to be sure, or one of beauty, 
yet no matter how glorified, an object nontheless" (10). Then, a few years later, he used sculp- 
ture as an occasion to argue that the hero having become an unusable image, the gestures he 
once made, as in the Renaissance, must now be made without the support of the body, as an 
object. "By insisting on the heroic gesture, and on the gesture only, the artist has made the heroic 
style the property of each one of us, transforming, in the process, this style from an art that is 
public to one that is personal" (11). Gesture becomes the artist's act, not that of his subject, 
and in this form is accessible without the particularities of musculature and drapery. Thus, 
when Newman paints the Stations of the Cross in terms of his gesture, he is taking possession 
of the traditional theme on his own terms, but these terms include his homage to the original 
content. His concern with religious and mythical content never delivers an idol but a presence. 
The presence is one that the artist shares with any evoked hero or god because it is in his work 
that the presence is constructed and revealed. 

The Stations of the Cross is an iconographic theme that requires a serial embodiment 
in space. (Matisse's Stations in La Chapelle du Rosaire, Vence are exceptional in that the epi- 
sodes are drawn on one surface across the East wall, with the movement of the spectator reduced 
to a left-right-left reading of numbered scenes.) The spatial structure of the Stations recalls 
Newman's project for a synagogue in 1963 in which he was necessarily dealing with problems 
of three-dimensional symbolism. The action of the ritual determines the form of the architec- 
ture, so that the worship of the congregation becomes a structure, and not merely an activity 
within a container. Although Newman's Stations have no obligatory arrangement (something 
of the flexibility of easel painting is retained), they need to be adjacent, so that repetitions 
and cross-references can perform identifying and expressive roles. Flexible as the paintings 
are, their spatial unity, as a group, is essential to their meaning. 

Newman's large paintings, such as Vir Heroicus Sublimis 1950-51 and Cathedra 
1951, are relevant here. In a statement written for an early one-man exhibition he stated : "There 
is a tendency to look at large pictures from a distance. The large pictures in this exhibition 
are intended to be seen from a short distance" (12). Large, one-color paintings, viewed close 
up produce effects of space as magnitude (as external coordinates diminish), of engulfment 
by color; in short a participative space. This reduction of optimum spectator distance from 
the work of art is comparable to the reduction of formal elements in his paintings, avoiding 
diversification and elaboration to preserve the wholistic character of each work. Newman's 
sense of space, explains his great feeling for the Indian Burial Mounds in the mid-West seen 
in 1949, after he had manifested an interest in working large. It is not that these shapes in 
the earth initiated his interest, but they coincided with his personal sense of space, simplicity, 
and the human monument. 

The recurrent image in the Stations is of two bands, variously defined, that modulate 
the field of raw canvas. The canvas is blond in color and slightly flecked and Newman has success- 
fully precipitated the untouched ground into color. It is given color relationally by the black 
or the white that it carries. In the three white paintings (nine through eleven) the canvas is 
very different in appearance from the black paintings. The fact that he used oil paint and three 
different synthetic media reveals his awareness of the function of color in the series, not only 
in its relational aspects but as a physical property. Different blacks occur from one painting 
to another and, sometimes, within one painting. Thus the series as a whole is, for all its im- 


pression of austerity, constitutes a highly nuanced system. Another difference can he seen by 
comparing a bare black painting, such as the Fifth Station, with more extensively covered 
paintings, such as the Seventh or Thirteenth Station. The standard size of the series dilates 
and contracts, rises and falls, according to the proportion and emphasis of the bands. Thus the 
organization is not restricted to internal divisions of planes and contrasts of forms. All the formal 
changes, involving as they do areas that cross the total surface, are wholistic in character. It is 
this largeness and unity in his work, perhaps, that has encouraged notions about the "hypo- 
thetical extendability of his areas and bands of color" (13). The Sublime in art may be majestic 
and vast but this is not the same as continuous and amorphous. Such an idea would link Newman 
and Mondrian with whose geometry Newman's art demonstrates, in fact, no kinship. Mondrian 
regarded his lines as bits of a universal grid that ran on beyond the work of art, an image, 
which, though not literally true, expresses his belief in painting as symbolic of universal order. 
Though Newman's art raises major issues, of the Passion and Death as in the Stations, for example, 
he does not do so as the basis of absolutes. Man is the center of Newman's world-picture and 
it is from man that art originates. Art is, therefore, centrifugal to man and not, as in Mondrian, 
our glimpse of absolute truth existing separately from us. 

Lawrence Alloway 


1. Cleve Gray. "The Art in America Show", Art in America, New York, vol. 49, no. 4, 1961, p. 94. 

2. Bibliography no. 21. 

3. Bibliography no. 14, p. 15. 

4. Ibid., p. 18. 

5. Bibliography no. 9. 

6. One other modification of the form of the Stations is Newman's addition of a fifteenth painting to the group. 
Be, II is a different size and color (solid white field flanked by an orange and a black band). It functions 
less as a focus, conspicuous because of its differences, than as a supplement; it is a shift and affirmation. 
It was exhibited earlier under the title Resurrection (Allan Stone Gallery 1962). It is a link between the 
human cry and a state of being, between Christ as a man and Christ as God. 

7. The Bible. A New Translation (by James Molfatt), New York, Harper Brothers, 1935. 

8. Bibliography no. 12. (Wrongly described by Lawrence Alloway in "The American Sublime", bibliography 
no. 31, as Tiger's Eye, no. 9, 1949, bibliography no. 13. 

9. Rudolf Otto. The Idea of the Holy, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1923, chapter VII. 

10. Bibliography no. 2. 

1 1. betty parsons gallery, New York, December 1947, Herbert Ferber. Introduction. 

12. Barnett Newman. Typescript written on the occasion of his 1951 exhibition at Betty Parsons Gallery. 

13. Walter Hopps. Bibliography no. 22. 

THE STATIONS OF THE CROSS, 114. 1958-1966. 

All paintings on canvas, 78x60". Nos. First, Second, Tenth Magna; Third-Eighth oil; Ninth, Eleventh, 
Twelfth, Thirteenth acrylic polymer; Fourteenth acrylic polymer and Duco. Lent by the artist. 




>■■> - L 

'""r 'Kg 

First Station. 1958. 

Second Station. 1958. 


Third Station. I960. 

Fourth Station. I960. 



Fifth Station. 1962. 

Sixth Station. 1962. 

Seventh Station. 1964. 

Eighth Station. 1964. 

Ninth Station. 1%4. 

Tenth Station. 1965. 

Eleventh Station. 1965. 


Twelfth Station. 1965. 

Thirteenth Station. 1 965—66. 

Fourteenth Station. 1965-66. 

built IflvmvJM 

Be, II. 1961-64. Acrylic and oil on canvas, 80 x 72". Lent by the artist. 



While we transcend time and place to participate in the 
spiritual life of a forgotten people, their art by the same 
magic illuminates the work of our time. The sense of 
dignitv, the high seriousness of purpose evident in this 
sculpture, makes clearer to us why our modern sculptors 
were compelled to discard the mock heroic, the volup- 
tuous, the superficial realism that inhibited the medium 
for so many European centuries. (Bibliography no. 3.) 

This bibliography is not comprehensive but is designed 
to stress aspects of Newmans writings, or writings about 
him, germane to the present exhibition. The main 
emphasis is on the discussion of content and subject 
matter and on the definition of the artist's activity. For 
bibliographies with additional references see numbers 
22, 52, 57. 

The quotations from Newman's writings are intended 
not as a record of his past opinions about other art and 
artists, but as indications of ideas and feelings relevant 
to his present work. 

I. WRITINGS BY BARXFTT NEWMAN would be a mistake to consider these paintings of 
Northwest Coast Indians as mere decorative devices: that 
they constitute a kind of heightened design. Design was 
a separate function carried on by the women and took the 
form of geometric, non-objective pattern. These paintings 
are ritualistic. They are an expression of the mytholo- 
gical beliefs of these peoples and take place on cere- 
monial objects only because these peoples did not prac- 
tice a formal art of easel painting on canvas. (Bibliog- 
raphy no. 5.) 

The Kwakiutl artist painting on a hide did not concern 
himself with the inconsequentials that made up the 
opulent social rivalries of the Northwest Coast Indian 
scene, nor did he, in the name of higher purity, renounce 
the living world for the meaningless materialism of 
design. The abstract shape he used, his entire plastic 
language, was directed by a ritualistic will towards meta- 
physical understanding. The everyday realities he left 
to the toymakers: the pleasant play of non-objective 
pattern to the women basket weavers. To him a shape 
was a living thing, a vehicle for an abstract thought- 
complex, a carrier of the awesome feelings he felt before 
the terror of the unknowable. (Bibliography no. 6.) 

L. [Letter to the Editor], New York Times, New \ork, 
June 13, 1943, sec. 2, p. 9. (Signed by Adolph 
Gottlieb and Mark Rothko, but written with New- 
man's collaboration). 

2. wakefield gallery, New York, February 7-19, 1944, 

Adolph Gottlieb. Introduction. 

3. wakefield gallery, New York, May 16-June 5, 1944, 

Pre-Columbian Stone Sculpture. Introduction. 

4. "La Pintura de Tamayo y Gottlieb", La Revista Belga, 

vol. 2, no. 4. April 1945, pp. 16-25. 

5. betty parsons gallery. New \ ork, September 30— 

October 19, 1946, Northwest Coast Indian Paint- 
ing. Introduction. 

6. betty parsons gallery, New \ ork, January 20-Feb- 

ruary 8, 1947, The Ideographic Picture. Intro- 

7. BETTY PARSONS gallery, New "l ork, February 10- 

March 1, 1947, Stamos. Introduction. 

8. art of this century, New York, April 23-March 11, 

1947, Teresa Zarnoicer. Introduction. 

9. "The First Man was an Artist", Tiger's Eye, ^ estport, 

Connecticut, vol. 1, no. 1. October 1, 1947, 
pp. 57-60. Reprinted in the solomon r. Guggen- 
heim museum. New York, 1964, Guggenheim 
International Award. Quotations pp. 94—95. 

10. "The Ides of Art-The Attitudes of 10 Artists on their 

Art and Contemporaneousness", Tiger s Eye, 
Westport, Connecticut, vol. 1, no. 2, December 15, 
1947. Statement, p. 43. 

11. "The Object and the Image". Tiger's Eye, Westport, 

Connecticut, vol. 1, no. 3, March 15, 1948, p. 111. 

12. "The Ides of Art-6 Opinions on What is Sublime in 

Art", Tiger s Eye, Westport, Connecticut, vol. 1, 
no. 6, December 15, 1948. "The Sublime is Now", 
pp. 51-53. 

13. "To Be or Not-6 Opinions on Trigant Burrow's 'The 

Neurosis of Man' ", Tiger s Eye, Y\ estport, Con- 
necticut, vol. 1, no. 9, October 15, 1949. Opinion, 
pp. 122-126. 

14. Motherwell, Robert and Reinhardt, Ad, eds. Modern 

Artists in America, New York, \^ ittenborn 


Schultz. Inc., 1951, pp. 9, 10, 12, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 
20, 21, 22. 

15. the museum of modern art, New York, 1958-59, The 

New American Painting. Statement, p. 60, intro- 
duction by Rene d'Harnoncourt, illustrated. 

16. "Editor's Letters", Art News, New York, vol. 60, no. 3, 

May 1961, p. 6. (In reply to a letter by Erwin Pa- 
nofsky concerning the grammar of Newman's title 
"Vir Heroicus Sublimis", Art News, New York, 
vol. 60, no. 2, April 1961, p. 6.) 

17. "Editor's Letters". Art News, New York, vol. 60, no. 5, 

September 1961, p. 6. Reply by Newman to a 
second letter from Panofsky. 

18. "Frontier's of Space", Art in America, New York, vol. 

50, no. 2, Summer 1962, pp. 82-87, illustrated. 
(Interview by Dorothy Gees Seckler.) 

19. betty parsons gallery, New York, September 23- 

October 19, 1963, Amlash Sculpture from Iran. 

20. the Jewish museum, New York, October 6-December 8, 

1963, Recent American Synagogue Architecture. 
Statement, p. 24, introduction by Richard Meier. 

21. 18 Cantos, A Volume of Lithographs by Barnett New- 

man, West Islip, New York, Universal Limited Art 
Editions, 1964. Preface. 

22. vin bienal, Sao Paulo, Brazil, September-November, 

1965, United States of America, n.p. Statement, 
introduction by Walter Hopps, discussion of New- 
man and his influence. 

In Warsaw, she [Teresa Zarnower] initiated the Construc- 
tivist revolution in abstract art, and was instrumental, as 
editor of the avant-garde publication Blok, in making 
Poland an important center for the movement. Theresa 
Zarnower is one of the important figures in the formula- 
tion of those functional principles that have profoundly 
influenced American painters, architects and industrial 
designers. It is only fitting that the prophet should find 
her home where her prophecy has been so well fulfilled. 
She now, in her first exhibition of work done here, feels 
that purist constructions in a world that she has seen 
collapse around her into shambles and personal tragedy 
is not enough, that in insistence on absolute purity may 
be total illusion. Art must say something. In this she is 
close to many American painters, who have been no less 
sensitive to the tragedy of our times. 
It is this transition from abstract language to abstract 
thought, it is this concern with abstract subject matter 
rather than abstract disciplines that gives her work its 
strength and its dignity. The truth here is mutually in- 
clusive, for the defense of human dignity is the ultimate 
subject matter of art. And it is only in its defense that any 
of us will ever find strength. (Bibliography no. 8.) 


23. greenberg, clement. "American-Type Painting", 

Partisan Review, New York, vol. 22, no. 2, Spring 
1955, pp. 179-196. Extensively revised and re- 
printed in Clement Greenberg, Art and Culture, 
Boston, Beacon Press, 1961, pp. 208-229 

24. goossen, eugene, c. "The Philosophic Line of Barnett 

Newman", Art News, New York, vol. 57, no. 4, 
Summer 1958, pp. 30-31, 62-63, illustrated. 

25. "Picture of a Painter", Newsweek, New York, vol. LIII, 

no. 11, March 16, 1959, p. 58. 

26. lanes, jerrold. "Reflections on Post-Cubist Painting", 

Arts Magazine, New York, vol. 33, no. 8, May 
1959, pp. 24-29, illustrated. 

27. rosenblum, Robert. "The Abstract Sublime", Art 

News, New York, vol. 59, no. 10, February 1961, 
pp. 38-41, 56-58, illustrated. 

28. greenberg, clement, "After Abstract Expressionism", 

Art International, Zurich, vol. VI, no. 8, October 
25, 1962, pp. 24-32, illustrated. 

29. hess, thomas b. "Willem de Kooning and Barnett 

Newman", Art News, New York, vol. 61, no. 8, 
December 1962, p. 12. 

30. fried, michael. "New York Letter", Art International, 

Zurich, vol. VI, no. 10, December 20, 1962, 
pp. 54-58, illustrated. 

The question that now arises is how, if we are living in 
a time without a legend or mythos that can be called 
sublime, if we refuse to admit any exaltation in pure 
relations, if we refuse to live in the abstract, how can we 
be creating a sublime art? 

We are creating images whose reality is self-evident and 
which are devoid of the props and crutches that evoke 
associations with outmoded images, both sublime and 
beautiful. We are freeing ourselves of the impediments 
of memory, association, nostalgia, legend, myth, or what 
have you, that have been the devices of Western Euro- 
pean painting. Instead of making "cathedrals" out of 
Christ, man, or "life," we are making it out of ourselves, 
out of our own feelings. The image we produce is the 
self-evident one of revelation, real and concrete, that can 
be understood by anyone who will look at it without the 
nostalgic glasses of history. (Bibliography no. 12.) 


The artist's intention is what gives a specific thing form. 
(Bibliography no. 14.) 

For me both the use of objects and the manipulation of 
areas for the sake of the areas themselves must end up 
being anecdotal. My subject is anti-anecdotal. An anec- 
dote can be subjective and internal as well as of the exter- 
nal world so that the expression of the biography of self 
or the intoxicated moment of glowing ecstasy must in 
the end also become anecdotal. All such painting is essen- 
tially episodic which means it calls for a sequel. This 
must happen if a painting does not give a sensation of 
wholeness or fulfillment. This is why I have no interest in 
the episodic or ecstatic, however abstract. (Bibliography 
no. 18.) 

31. alloway, Lawrence. "The American Sublime", Living 

Arts, London, no. 2, 1963, pp. 11-22, illustrated. 

32. kaprow, allan. "Impurity", Art News, New York, 

vol. 61, no. 9, January 1963, pp. 30-33, 52-55, 
illustrated. Discussion of Vir Heroicus Sublimis 
(See bibliography 15 and 16.) 

33. Rosenberg, harold. "Barnett Newman: A Man of 

Controversy and Spiritual Grandeur", Vogue, New 
York, February 1, 1963, pp. 134-135, 163, 166, 
illustrated. Reprinted in Harold Rosenberg, The 
Anxious Object, New York, Horizon Press, 1964, 
"Barnett Newman, The Living Rectangle", pp. 

34. "Five Sculptors", Location, New York, vol. 1, no. 1, 

Spring 1963, pp. 81-89, illustrated. 
34. greenberg, clement. "Clement Greenberg's View of 
Art on the Prairies", Canadian Art, Ottawa, vol. 
XX, no. 2, March-April 1963, pp. 90-107. 

36. hunter, sam. "Abstract Expressionism Then-and Now", 

Canadian Art, Ottawa, vol. XXI, no. 5, Septem- 
ber-October 1964, pp. 266-269, illustrated. 

37. kozloff, max. "Art and The New York Avant-Garde", 

Partisan Review, New Brunswick, New Jersey, 
vol. XXXI, no. 4, Fall 1964, pp. 535-554. 

38. fogg art museum, Harvard University, Cambridge, 

Massachusetts, April 21-May 30, 1965, Three 
American Painters : Kenneth Noland, Jules Olitski, 
Frank Stella. Introduction by Michael Fried, 
discussion of Newman's formal influence, pp. 

39. alloway, lawrence. "Barnett Newman", Art Forum, 

Los Angeles, vol. Ill, no. 9, June 1965, pp. 20-22, 

■ II. OM 11 A\ I Xlllltl TIOYS 

In the synagogue, the architect has the perfect subject 
because it gives him total freedom for a personal work 
of art. In the synagogue ceremony nothing happens that 
is objective. In it there is only the subjective experience 
in which one feels exalted. "Know before whom you 
stand", reads the command. 

My purpose is to create a place, not an environment, to 
deny the contemplation of the objects of ritual for the 
sake of that ultimate courtesy where each person, man 
or woman, can experience the vision and feel the exalta- 
tion of "His trailing robes fdling the Temple." 
(Bibliography no. 20.) 

40. betty parsons gallery, New York, January 23-Feb- 

ruary 11, 1950, (No catalogue). 

41. betty parsons gallery, New York, April 23-May 12, 

1951. (No catalogue). 

42. bennington college, Bennington, Vermont, May 4- 

24, 1958, Barnett Newman: First Retrospective 
Exhibition. Introduction by Clement Greenberg, 
note by E. C. Goossen. 

43. French and company, New York, March 11-April 4, 

1959, Barnett Newman: A Selection 1946-1952. 
Reprint from no. 41 of introduction by Clement 
Greenberg, pp. 3—4, poem by Howard Nemerov 
"On Certain Wits", p. 2, [reprinted from The 
Nation, New York, vol. 187, no. 6, September 6, 
1958, p. 119]. illustrated. 

44. allan stone gallery, New York, October 23-Novem- 

ber 17, 1962, Newman-de Kooning. Text by Allan 



(Other than those listed in section I.) 

45. the art institute of Chicago, Illinois, November 6, 

1947-January 11, 1948, Abstract and Surrealist 
American Art. 

46. walker art center, Minneapolis, Minnesota, October 

15-December 10, 1950, American Painting. Intro- 
duction by H. Harvard Arnason. 

47. hawthorne memorial gallery, Provincetown, Massa- 

chusetts, August 6-September 4, 1950, Post- 
Abstract Painting 1950 France-America. 

48. betty parsons gallery, New York, December 19, 

1955-January 14, 1956, Ten Years. Introduction by 
Clement Greenberg. 

49. the Minneapolis institute of arts, Minneapolis, 

Minnesota, June 18-September 1, 1957, American 
Painting, 1945-1957. Introduction by Stanton 
L. Catlin. 

50. documenta ii, Kassel, Germany, July 11-October 11, 

1959, Kunst nach 1945 Internationale Ausstel- 
lung. Introduction by Werner Haftmann. 


December 9, 1959-January 31, 1960, The Annual 
Exhibition oj Contemporary American Painting. 


October-December 1961, Abstract Expressionists 
and Imagists. Introduction by H. Harvard Arna- 
son, bibliography. 

53. the museum of modern art, New York, September 22, 

1961-October 14, 1962, The Collection of Mr. and 
Mrs. Ben Heller. Introduction by William C. Seitz. 


December 11, 1963-February 2, 1964, The Annual 
Exhibition of Contemporary American Painting. 

55. the Jewish museum, New York, December 12, 1963- 

February 5, 1964, Black and White. Introduction 
by Ben Heller. 

56. institute of contemporary art, University of Penn 

sylvania, Philadelphia, January 14-March 1, 1965, 
The Decisive Years, 1943-1953. Introduction by 
Samuel Adams Green. 

57. los angeles county museum of art, Los Angeles, July 

16 (June 18)-August 1, 1965, New York School- 
The First Generation. Editor, Maurice Tuchman. 
Reprints, excerpts from bibliography 6, 11, 12, 18. 
Bibliography by Lucy Lippard. 


December 8, 1965-January 30, 1966, The Annual 
Exhibition of Contemporary American Painting. 


art, New York, June 22, 1965-May 1966, Modern 
Sculpture U.S.A., (travelling exhibition). Introduc- 
tion by Rene d'Harnoncourt. 

60. moderna museet, Stockholm, December 26, 1965-Feb- 

ruary 13, 1966. Den Inre och den Yttre. (The 
Inner and Outer Space.) 

These eighteen cantos are then single, individual expres- 
sions, each with its unique difference. Yet since they grew 
one out of the other, they also form an organic whole so 
that as they separate and as they join in their interplay, 
their symphonic mass lends additional clarity to each 
individual canto, and at the same time, each canto adds 
its song to the full chorus. (Bibliography no. 21.) 

The fetish and the ornament, blind and mute, impress 
only those who cannot look at the terror of Self. The self, 
terrible and constant, is for me the subject matter of paint- 
ing and sculpture. (Bibliography no. 22.) 




Dictionary, London, Routledge and Kegan Paul Ltd., 

London, 1957, pp. 772-773. 
de MONTAULT, BARBIER. "Iconographie du Chemin de la 

Croix", Annales Archeologiques, Paris, 1860, vol. 

XX, p. 181 ff., 316 ff.; vol. XXI, p. 18 ff., 277 ff.; 

vol. XXII, p. 251 ff.; vol. XXIII, p. 19 ff., 105 ff., 

225 ff. ; vol. XXIV, p. 27 ff. ; vol. XXV, p. 103 ff., 159 

ff., 297 ff. 
kramer, ernst. Kreuzweg und Kavalierenberg, Strass- 

burg, Editions P. H. Heitz, 1957, pp. 15-19, 70, 89. 
kunstle, karl. Ikonographie der Christlichen Kunst, 

Freiburg, Herder, 1928, pp. 440^46. 
male, emile. L Art religieux apres le Concile de Trente, 

Paris, Librarie Armand Colin, 1932, pp. 493-495. 
reau, louis. Iconographie de L 'Art Chretien, Paris, 

Presses Lhiiversitaires de France, vol. II, 1957, pp. 

465-466, 468-169. 

The Catholic Encyclopedia, New York, The Universal 

Language Foundation, Inc., 1912, vol. 15, pp. 

thurston, Rev. Herbert "The Stations of the Cross", The 

Month, London, vol. 96, July-December 1900, pp. 




1905 Born January 29, New York City. 

1922-26 Studied Art Students League, New York (with Duncan Smith, John Sloan, William 
von Schlegel). 

1927 B. A., City College of New York. 

1941 Graduate work at Cornell University. 

1948 Co-founder with \S illiam Baziotes, Robert Motherwell, Mark Rothko, David Hare 

of Subjects of the Artist Art School. 

1958 Bennington College, Bennington, Vermont. Retrospective exhibition. 

1959 Leader of the Artist's Workshop for the University of Saskatchewan, Canada. 
1962-63 Conducted graduate seminars at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. 
1965 VIII Bienal. Sao Paulo. Brazil. Exhibition. 




Thomas M. Messer 


Associate Curator 
Research Fellows 

Lawrence Alloway 

Louise Averill Svendsen 

Diane Waldman and Rose Carol Washton 

Mary Joan Hall 

Public Affairs 






Everett Ellin 

Carol Tormey 

Alice Hildreth Goldman 

Orrin Riley and Saul Fuerstein 

Robert E. Mates 

Jean Xceron 

Business Administrator 

Glenn H. Easton, Jr. 

Administrative Assistant 
Office Manager 
Purchasing Agent 
Sales Supervisor 
Building Superintendant 
Head Guard 

Viola H. Gleason 
Agnes R. Connolly 
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Peter G. Loggin 
Fred C. Mahnken 

All photographs were made by Robert E. Mates and Paul Katz, The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum 

Exhibition 66/3 April-May, 1966 

2,000 copies of this catalogue 

designed by Herbert Matter 

have been printed by Joh. Enschede en Zonen, Haarlem, Holland 

in March 1966 

for the Trustees of The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation 

on the occasion of the exhibition 

'Barnett Newman: The Stations of the Cross, Lema Sabachthani"